FARNCOMBE’S surprise defeat to Thursley opened the way for The Bourne to take over the lead in I’Anson Division Three, with Midhurst moving up to second.

A severely depleted Hindhead side were invited to bat first by The Bourne, also missing some players. The visitors began brightly, Darren Carter and Dan Bolton playing cameos as opener David Babb made a steady 27. However, Russ Mayhew came on to bowl an excellent spell (4-32 in 10 overs) and it took some late boundaries from Mark Babb (29) to get Hindhead up to a below-par 158.

Defending this total was always going to be difficult for a weak Hindhead attack and so it proved as opener Rob Croucher dispatched the ball to all parts. When he was dismissed for a hard-hitting 79, Joe Morse took over with an undefeated 50 and Sandip Kabariya gave good support as The Bourne raced to victory in 23.1 overs.

Midhurst gave Wood Street first use of a decent batting track and Rob Doick was soon rattling the stumps. Keelan Williams looked comfortable in making 33 and, after another mini collapse, Dougal Chudley chipped in with a hard-hitting 32. Archie Chudley top-scored with 35 and the visitors posted a respectable 175 all out from 43.2 overs, Craig Edwards taking 3-38 in 14 overs.

The hostile James Grist tore through the Midhurst top order, having Simon Lush caught behind in the first over, clean-bowling skipper Tim Dixon for a duck and then trapping Drew Clark in front. The home side were in deep trouble at 46-5, but opener Nathan Kemp was still there and he was joined by number 8 Lewis Hyde who counter-attacked with a fast 56 not out. The pair shared a match-winning partnership and former Lurgashall player Kemp was unbeaten on 85 when Midhurst got home in the 38th over.

Farncombe powered to 154-2, with skipper Matt Jaggard making 60 and Lee Hudson a free-scoring 89. But the leaders contrived to lose their last eight wickets for 48 runs, with Sohaib and Hamza running through the lower order, and Thursley dismissed the home side for 202 in the 47th over.

Thursley looked out of the picture at 91-5, but this newly assembled side bat deep. Shahzad Ahmed played a superb innings of 93 not out and Tayyab (49 not out) joined him in a partnership that clinched a stunning victory in 38 overs.

Blackheath II are a handy third after beating Bramley. The visitors amassed 228-4 (Paul Nash 81 not out) and then dismissed Bramley for 94. Dallas McDermott took 4-34.

Harting batted consistently to post 194-8, but Headley II salvaged a draw, battling to 138-8 in their 45 overs.

Shalford, invited to bat by Dogmersfield II were heading for a low total at 77-6, with the pacey Manny Shinwari (6-67) wreaking havoc. A remarkable recovery followed as Naude (57) and Dom Britt (80) shared a stand of 124. Skipper Dave Rowe (27) chipped in and Shalford finally totalled 238 in 45 overs.

Two early wickets set Dogmersfield back and they soon set their sights on a draw. Captain Imran Abbas made 60 at the top of the order, but they fell just short of bonus points on 148-6 from their 45 overs.